Towing with a Metris Van - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Towing and Hitching
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-01-2019, 02:30 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: San Francisco, California
Trailer: Looking to buy trailer 5,000 GTWR with solar, wet/bath Sleeps 3
Posts: 19
Towing with a Metris Van

Hi everyone! My wife and I have a 2018 Metris Passwnher Van with 5,000 lbs tow capacity. Anyone else driving the Metris?

When traveling, we may have up to 4 adults and our beagle, 2k watt generator and gasoline, about 50 pounds of provide for my wife’s juicing, about 30 ponds dslr camera equipment, plus water. I haven’t weighed everything but I think these are the heavier items.

Would it be feasible to even consider the Escape 21’? I noticed the 21’ is only a few hundred pounds more than the 19’. I understand climbing hills and mountains might be challenging.
__________________

infinity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2019, 04:22 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 1,489
I'd be real hesitant to tow a 4500 lb (max) trailer with a FWD 2.2 liter minivan rated for max 5000 lb tow, especially if you plan longer trips. relatively short trips would probably be ok

Ive not seen a Metris in person, but the pics, the rear bumper looks pretty low... you need a 19" or so ball height for the Escape to ride level, a riser like that could well block the van's tailgate from opening. Presumably if it can tow 5000, its equipped with a class III 2" reciever? Do they allow use of a weight distributing hitch? without one, dropping 500 lbs tongue weight off the rear bumper could well make for a nasty ride. Do they come wired for a 7-blade RV connector and provision for a brake controller? This isn't insurmountable if they don't but modern Mercedes chassis electronics are pretty complicated, I'd be worried about a trailer installer butchering things.
__________________

__________________
2014 Escape 21 (home away from home)
2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4 (tug)
1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (daily driver)
2006 Yellow Lab (Maggie... RIP Feb 2019 )
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2019, 07:36 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Signal Mountain (Chattanooga), Tennessee
Trailer: Escape 21 November 2014; 2016 Ram Eco-diesel 4WD Crew
Posts: 476
Metris

Infinity,
We get similar questions fairly frequently on this forum.

Presumably if the vehicle is rated for 5000 lbs, some engineer somewhere has tried it and the radiator doesn't overheat on a moderate grade, the 253 lb/ft of torque can keep it at 50 mph on a certain uphill grade. An adequate brake controller is essential, too.

We towed the first 20,000 miles with our slightly lighter 2014 model 21' Escape with a 4Runner with 283 lb/ft of torque. I won't say it was a struggle, but it was a constant concern, and I added a readout to monitor transmission, oil, and coolant temps.

I'd get the 21 Escape, but know in the back of your mind, that the wise course would be to plan for a new tow vehicle as time and money permit.

The question is how well will your tow vehicle handles the situation when the semi swooshes past going 80, when the deer jumps out, or when the semi going the other direction loses a wheel and it comes bounding at you. All have happened this year.

Hope you join us as on owner of one of the best trailers you can buy.

Bill
Bill and Earline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2019, 08:37 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: San Francisco, California
Trailer: Looking to buy trailer 5,000 GTWR with solar, wet/bath Sleeps 3
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
I'd be real hesitant to tow a 4500 lb (max) trailer with a FWD 2.2 liter minivan rated for max 5000 lb tow, especially if you plan longer trips. relatively short trips would probably be ok

Ive not seen a Metris in person, but the pics, the rear bumper looks pretty low... you need a 19" or so ball height for the Escape to ride level, a riser like that could well block the van's tailgate from opening. Presumably if it can tow 5000, its equipped with a class III 2" reciever? Do they allow use of a weight distributing hitch? without one, dropping 500 lbs tongue weight off the rear bumper could well make for a nasty ride. Do they come wired for a 7-blade RV connector and provision for a brake controller? This isn't insurmountable if they don't but modern Mercedes chassis electronics are pretty complicated, I'd be worried about a trailer installer butchering things.
Thanks for your response John. Actually the Metris is RWD. Interesting right? Wish it was AWD but it does drive quite nicely with the paddle shifters. The 2.0-liter engine is capable of delivering 210 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque.

Most of the time we plan for only 2 adults and a dog. Maybe 1-2 months we plan to have my in-laws join us. We were almost set on a 19’ until I saw that the 21’ being not significantly heavier.

A member of the Metris forums has been doing full time with his Metris towing a 22’ airstream supplemented with the brake controller and equalizer hitch. Although he is the only one that has done it that I know of. A few other Metris owners have the 16 sport and nest. Haven’t seen a Metris Escape combo yet.

We opted for the Metris barn style doors. Although with a hitch and receiver attached, I doubt the doors will open but that’s fine. We have sliding side doors.

Ours is equipped with the tow package. I do still need to figure out if the 7pin rv connecter will have any issues with a brake controller. It appears to be an issue for some Metris owners.

Daniel
infinity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 07:55 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 1,489
well, if the factory tow package supplied a 7 blade, presumably the 'brake' signal on that is wired to a connector somewhere near the drivers side of the dashboard, thats where you plug in a brake controller, if the Metris doesn't already have one built in....

ah, browsed some metris forums, apparently the brakes are NOT wired, they just put a 7-blade connector on a 4-wire (lights only) system. ugh. you can use the Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake controller, which doesn't require ANY under-dash wiring.
__________________
2014 Escape 21 (home away from home)
2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4 (tug)
1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (daily driver)
2006 Yellow Lab (Maggie... RIP Feb 2019 )
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2019, 03:14 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: San Francisco, California
Trailer: Looking to buy trailer 5,000 GTWR with solar, wet/bath Sleeps 3
Posts: 19
Thank you John! I’m arranging with someone locally within 75 miles to see the escape 19’ next weekend. Would love to get the 21’ but I think the 300lbs+ difference will make a difference. Really don’t want to go smaller than the 19’. We are working out the options at the moment. We do have the Metris tow package and confirmed what you said is correct about the brake lights.

In terms of accessories, it looks like I’ll be needing the following:

Tekonsha RF Prodigy wireless brake controller

Andersen Camper Leveler

Equal-i-zer 4-point sway

I’m not sure which trailer ball hitch to consider. Do you have a recommendation?
infinity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2019, 02:22 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 1,489
measure the height of the reciever. midline on my f250 is about 18". The trailer should ride level when the top of the hitch ball is about 19", which means the hitch mounting plate on the tow bar is about 16", so I use a towbar that has about 2" of drop from the centerline to the top of the plate that the ball mounts on. any 2" ball rated 5000 lbs+ is fine. any class III 2" towbar is fine once you figure out how much drop or rise is optimal.



edit: Wait, your Equal-i-zer *IS* a tow bar. so yuou just need the correct shank for it for the rise/drop you need.
__________________
2014 Escape 21 (home away from home)
2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4 (tug)
1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (daily driver)
2006 Yellow Lab (Maggie... RIP Feb 2019 )
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2019, 03:24 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,809
As John noted earlier, the Metris has a very low receiver, due to the low load floor of the van. That's not unusual for vans - my Sienna is only 11" to the top of the receiver opening, so I need to use a ball mount with rise (ball base higher than receiver) with almost any trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
... I use a towbar that has about 2" of drop from the centerline to the top of the plate that the ball mounts on.
So that would be a 3" drop.

"Drop" in ball mounts and WD shanks (which are just part of specialized two-piece ball mounts) is normally measured from the top of the receiver opening (not the middle) to the level on which the base of the ball sits. When reading the specs published by towing equipment manufacturers, that's what the drop dimension will indicate.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2019, 05:15 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 1,489
realized my f250 wasn't parked on level ground when I measured it last night. top of my tow ball is 18" off the ground, top of my reciever is 17"... this truck drops very little when I put my ~450 tongue weight on it, a minivan likely will drop quite a bit more, but the equalizer will level things back out.
__________________
2014 Escape 21 (home away from home)
2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4 (tug)
1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (daily driver)
2006 Yellow Lab (Maggie... RIP Feb 2019 )
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 02:31 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: San Francisco, California
Trailer: Looking to buy trailer 5,000 GTWR with solar, wet/bath Sleeps 3
Posts: 19
It's been a while... we decided to go with the Escape 19' after seeing one in Napa, CA. Also, because the dry weight is only 3k and we expect to get close to 5k which is what our tow van can pull as the recommended max. Our build sheet was recently finalized and we plan to pick up late September!


Thanks so much for the help here. I just measured the hitch on my van and it is 13" from the tip top of the hitch (12" center of the hitch receiver). I'm not sure at this point whether to get the E2 6k which is recommended by ETI or go with the higher end Equal-I-zer 4 point sway 10k. I'm told the 10k is overkill... but if it is the safer option, I don't mind spending a bit extra for the reassurance. I'm not sure if the original equalizer tongue will be able to fit my tow hitch receiver in terms of height.
infinity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 03:16 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 1,489
I'v ebeen towing for a few years now without any weight distribution or sway, and this has not been a problem.

I'd suggest towing it home with just a basic 2" towbar and see how it rides. if your vehicle sags a lot and porpoises on bumps, you might be a candidate for weight distribution, if your vehicle feels really light in front with the trailer hitched, get some weight distribution goings ASAP!

I've towed a lot of things, from a fairly large tent trailer behind a E150, to a escape 21 behind both a Tacoma and a F250. None of these combinations felt any tendency to sway. Now, initially the Tacoma + Casita 16 was very prone to porpoising, and I addressed this with a EZ-Lift WDH, but then I got airbags to beef up the Tacoma's rear end on demand, and with those inflated to 'level', it didn't pitch at all, and I haven't messed with a WDH since. my f250+e21 has no issues, so ditto, no sway or leveling needed.
__________________
2014 Escape 21 (home away from home)
2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4 (tug)
1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (daily driver)
2006 Yellow Lab (Maggie... RIP Feb 2019 )
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 05:06 AM   #12
Site Team
 
padlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,765
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinity View Post
Thanks so much for the help here. I just measured the hitch on my van and it is 13" from the tip top of the hitch (12" center of the hitch receiver). I'm not sure at this point whether to get the E2 6k which is recommended by ETI or go with the higher end Equal-I-zer 4 point sway 10k. I'm told the 10k is overkill... but if it is the safer option, I don't mind spending a bit extra for the reassurance. I'm not sure if the original equalizer tongue will be able to fit my tow hitch receiver in terms of height.
If you like the Equal-I-zer, why not go with the 6k version instead of the 10k. I had the 6k before and it is quite heavy to lift, don't think I'd want to mess with the 10k.
__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 05:39 AM   #13
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,424
I have always thought a too heavy w/d set up can do more harm than good. Your thinking that heavier is better can be flawed. It is always better to match weight to the w/d set up in lieu of going over board, or be less than the max amount.
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 08:00 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Rangeley, Maine
Trailer: 2005 Escape 17B Sold 2016. 2016 Escape 19 Sold 2019. 2019 Escape 21 picking up Sep 30th!
Posts: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
If you like the Equal-I-zer, why not go with the 6k version instead of the 10k. I had the 6k before and it is quite heavy to lift, don't think I'd want to mess with the 10k.

We have the Equal-i-zer 6k... towed our 17B with it, towed our 19 with it, and will tow the upcoming 21 with it. I've been very happy with it. It is heavy, but it makes the trailer feel like it's part of the tow vehicle.

Tow vehicles over the years have been a 4Runner, Highlander, and Tundra.
__________________
Dolly
These are the good old days!
sallemann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 11:18 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,809
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinity View Post
I'm not sure at this point whether to get the E2 6k which is recommended by ETI or go with the higher end Equal-I-zer 4 point sway 10k. I'm told the 10k is overkill... but if it is the safer option, I don't mind spending a bit extra for the reassurance.
The Equal-i-zer hitches come in various ratings; there is no need to get the 10K version. Those ratings describe the capacity of the system, and most of the difference is in the stiffness of the spring bars. Overly stiff bars are just heavy, and cause variations in load-distributing forces which hard on the tow vehicle, hard on the trailer, and bad for handling. Even if the systems were the same total weight, the lower-rated version would be better... and the higher-rated systems can be very heavy. The most appropriate range is the lowest which is suitable for the trailer... so the lowest available for most brands if towing any Escape.

The difference between the original Equal-i-zer and the E2 is all in the head... the hitch head. The Equal-i-zer has a clamping arrangement which provides more friction for sway damping, but it is not necessary - I'm sure that the manufacturer realized that so they offered the less expensive E2.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2019, 11:22 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,809
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinity View Post
I just measured the hitch on my van and it is 13" from the tip top of the hitch (12" center of the hitch receiver).
...
I'm not sure if the original equalizer tongue will be able to fit my tow hitch receiver in terms of height.
As long as the hitch shank has enough adjustment range to hold the hitch head at the right height for the trailer, this isn't a problem. Much of the hitch hardware hangs down, but the height of all that stuff is determined by the trailer's tongue/coupler/ball height, not the height of the socket in the van's hitch receiver.
__________________

Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
metris, tow capacity

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×